Dan Spencer

Interview

Washington, DC

Q&A

Audio Engineer Dan Spencer Shares His Story

Fun Fact - Dan is an accredited Grammy voting member

Dan Spencer was born in the steel city of Youngstown, OH in 1984. At a young age he showed a interest in music with his love for rock n’ roll and Elvis Presley. Little did he know that Elvis was only the door way to another world. In middle school he picked up the trumpet and became first chair in the school band shortly after. He held 1st chair for his whole school career. He took 5 years of private lessions throughout school with his biggest feat scoring 7 (1’s) at regional band competition. He was also selected in both 7th and 8th to be in the regional honors band.

When high school came along, Dan’s interest in music drifted from his virtuoustic trumpet playing to that of contemporary music. He took up the piano and guitar in 9th grade and also began singing. He wrote his first song at the age of 12 and that started a chain reaction. Throughout high school he took piano lessons and began to refine his guitar playing and singing. He began recording his first solo record his Sophmore year of high school under the supervision of recording engineer and producer James Meese. This is where he first found his love for recording engineering. For the next 5 years he was in and out of the studio picking up techniques and learning the tools and trades of recording engineering.

Along with recording music for artists, Dan also releases his own work

After High School, Dan went to Youngstown State University and eventually found himself in their Dana School of Music. He went there majoring in Music Composition and minoring in Voice. After some time in the program he decided it wasn’t where his heart was and left the school. At the same time he was also fronting a popular original band by the name of “The Redlights”. Dan engineered and produced 3 records for them along with opening up his home studio to other local bands. He produced locals such as country artist Wendy Wills, rock artist Fanstab Chicago, and pop/punk artist Never Say Forever. Dan’s band, The Redlights, eventually demised at the end of 2006 after achieving a regional recording contract and national management contract.

In 2007, Dan landed a job as a live sound engineer for Forty Two Inc. A/V. There he toured the northeast doing large scale concert, corporate, and political events. He was the FOH engineer for the Jazz Street Stage of the Rochester International Jazz Festival in both 2007 and 2008.

He was the FOH engineer for the Power Plant Live stage at Baltimore’s Paetec Jazz Festival in 2007, and he did event production for 5 states for both the Obama and Clinton 2008 presidental campaigns. Some other notable highlights were mixing monitors for Eddie Money and doing event production for the debut of Cheverolet’s current economy size car the Cruze.

Dan graduated from the Art Institute of Washington DC

Toward the end of 2008, Dan decided to leave Ohio to obtain a degree in Audio Production at the Art Institute of Washington DC. He hoped by moving to a larger city it would help further his career. It not only furthered his career but really focused it. Throughout school he beganing meeting local artists who he would later go on to engineer and produce. Best of all he met his now current band “Rustbelt City”. Dan ended up producing and engineering their first record with band mate Dale Winburn.

Dan has produced several artists ranging from rock to dance since he moved to DC. All his most recent work can be found in the “My Work” section of his website danspencermusic.com. Some other achievements are that he has had two songs licensed for Hollywood films and graduated college Summa Cum-Laude with a 3.9 GPA.

He is also an accredited GRAMMY voting member and helps choose the yearly award recipients. With graduation behind him he hopes to embark on a new adventure and continue to produce regional artists. Next to being a part of Rustbelt City and performing, producing is Dan’s passion in life. Dan believe’s in creating music with real meaning and depth behind it in a world that has become overly superficial. Dan wants to do this one artist at a time. I’ll leave you with a quote that Dan lives by……….

You’re only as good as the music you listen to.